Freshman surprised by college rigor

Bethany Ortiz, Humans of PVCC Editor, Puma Press

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Lounging in the seating area between the K and H buildings is a young female Paradise Valley Community College student. She is wearing a light blue, oversized T-shirt and black leggings. Her hair is in a short braid that hangs down her neck, and in effort to keep some loose hairs at bay she wears a black headband wrapped around her head.

Lex Charter, 18, is currently in her first semester at PVCC with an undeclared major. Through dual enrollment she had 45 college credit hours completed prior to attending PVCC. Her success in dual enrollment classes had Charter falsely thinking she was prepared for college, believing that since she had some experience with college-like courses, her transition to real-life college classes would be easy.

“It was a wake up call for sure,” Charter says. “(The transition) was pretty rough, pretty intense. I was surprised at how different it was compared to dual classes or AP or anything like that, really.”

Her surprise was mainly aimed at how fast-paced and rigorous college courses are compared to those she had previously taken.

“The rigor is a lot more intense,” she says. “What they do in a semester, they’ll do in high school in a year.”

Charter is still undecided about what exactly she would like to study. She is feeling the pressure of having to choose a major soon and to commit to it. She understands that whichever field she decides to go into will require her full attention and commitment.

“Not knowing exactly what I want to do is also (stressful). … You think you know, but then you’re like ‘wait,’” she says. “The commitment, for sure, that’s definitely a huge thing.”

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Freshman surprised by college rigor